We exist to make life better for individuals with autism and their families.
Our founders, Dan and Lorri Unumb, began their autism advocacy journey around the globe over 15 years ago. Their passion to help families who could not afford treatment inspired them to author “Ryan’s Law,” passed in 2007. Named in honor of their son, the law requires health insurance to cover autism treatment and catalyzed a national autism insurance movement. In 2010, the Unumbs joined forces with other concerned parents and youth development professionals to create the Autism Academy of South Carolina. In 2019, it was renamed The Unumb Center for Neurodevelopment in honor of the family’s contributions to the autism community. Our current services include: applied behavior analysis (ABA) to individuals between the ages of 2-21, diagnostic testing and assessments, social skills groups, job training, summer programs including Camp U and Field Day, individual and family therapy, and behavioral psychotherapy to address food refusal/selectivity.
While we have grown to reflect the changing needs of the autism community, the autism community has also grown. At the time of our founding, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 69 children were diagnosed with autism. In 2021, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 44 children were diagnosed with autism. The need for services is rapidly outgrowing providers. We need your help to increase the capacity of our current programs and grow into new ones.
"When our child first started at The Unumb Center for Neurodevelopment, he would repeat words and label objects and colors. Recently we had a medical emergency in our family and the person driving our son to the clinic was taken to a local hospital. Upon getting to the hospital, that individual was not able to give any contact information, the hospital staff asked our son and he was not only able to give his name but also our phone number so we could be reached."
"I know what quality care looks like. Our son has been in ABA centers across the United States. When I visited this center, I knew this would be a place where our son could grow, but who would also be celebrated for all of his unique qualities. This center is special and truly a gift to this community. The talented and well trained staff create an environment that shows that our children deserve to thrive in this community and there are no boundaries to their success. The staff here acknowledge that my husband and I know our son better than anyone else and have taken time to listen and learn about our son because they see him as a person, who just happens to have autism. A person who has likes and dislikes, a favorite song, as well as a typical older brother who still longs to connect with him. This center has helped me on the journey of feeling hopeful for the future and I know in my heart, this center will provide hope for many other families as well."
"When my child first started social skills groups, he was struggling socially at school. His communication with other kids his age was labored and awkward. Social interactions with peers was a big part of his IEP. I will never forget the first IEP meeting after his first semester at social group, his special education teacher came to me and asked if we had “changed his meds” because he was a different child and whatever we were doing was working. I quickly told her that we had not changed any of his medications, but we had been attending the social group lessons! She was floored at the changes in his interactions with others, and I was delighted to know that he was learning valuable skills."